Friday, November 21, 1862, Union General Ambrose Burnside called upon the city government of Fredericksburg, Virginia to surrender or else risk bombardment. Burnside gave civil authorities sixteen hours to remove any *sick or wounded, women, children, and the aged.
The mayor of Fredericksburg refused to surrender but asked for more time to evacuate non-military personnel. Orders were issued to “Stonewall” Jackson to have him transfer his forces to the defense of Fredericksburg as soon as possible. On this day, President Jefferson Davis also appointed a Richmond, Virginia lawyer, James A. Seddon, as Secretary of War, replacing Gustavus Smith after only four days. Seddon would serve faithfully until January 1, 1865, when he retired from public service.